St. Ambrose of Milan
Feast: December 7th
St. Ambrose was born in Gaul, where his father was the Prefect of the Roman
Praetorium, about the year 340. His Father died while he was still an infant, and with
his mother he returned to Rome, where he enjoyed a good education, learned the Greek
language, became a good poet and orator. He late moved to Rome when his brother
appointed him Governor of one of the Regions. His virtues in office, and the voice of a
child who proclaimed him bishop, marked him out to the people of Milan as their bishop.
Both believers and nonbelievers elected him as their first bishop, a position he
reluctantly accepted. As he was only a catechumen, he received the Sacrament of Baptism, after which he
was consecrated Bishop, in 374, at the age of thirty-four.
After giving his fortune to the Church and the poor, he applied himself to studying
the scripture and ecclesiastical writers, placing himself under the instruction of
Simplicianus, a priest of the Church of Rome, who later succeeded him in the
Archbishopric of Milan. His attack against the Arians was such that by the year 385
very few did not claim Christ as their savior. Ambrose was very influential in settling
disputes between Emperors and the Church. He had no difficulty correcting or calling to
accountability any politician who he thought was violating the common good.
He had the satisfaction of witnessing the conversion and baptism of the great
Saint Augustine, whom he baptized in 387. After a life of labor and prayer the Holy
Bishop of Milan died in 397.
According to legend, when St. Ambrose was an infant bees swarmed around his mouth.
This lead his father to proclaim, “when he becomes a man he will be a powerful
preacher”. His father’s words became true---St. Ambrose preached the Gospel of Jesus
Christ boldly and powerfully. He is patron saint of beekeepers and honey makers. His
feast day is celebrated December 7th.
Saint Ambrose . . . Pray for Us!